African football shoots self in foot

HARARE - While Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has grabbed the most headlines in Brazil over his “biting” incident, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon have left their own indelible mark on the tournament.

Internal strife in the camp of these four African countries has made the continent a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.

Cameroon almost failed to participate in the tournament after players refused to board their plane for Brazil over a bonus dispute with their football associations (FA).

It was also the same situation with the Elephants of Ivory Coast as a bonus row also distracted Yaya Toure and his teammates.

Ghana provided all the drama when the Black Stars players refused to train over unpaid appearance fees on the eve of their crucial last group match against Portugal.

Star players Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng took matters into their own hands and had a heated argument with the Black Stars technical team which ended up getting physical.

The Ghanaian government had no choice but to charter a plane to Brazil to carry the $3 million owed to the Black Stars.

After reaching the round of 16, Nigeria players also boycotted training on Thursday night demanding to be paid their bonuses by their FA.

This has been the theme of all African teams in Brazil except for the Desert Foxes of Algeria, who have remained a united squad during this tournament.

These latest episodes should be a lesson to all African countries, Zimbabwe included as this has also recently happened between the Zimbabwe Football Association and the Warriors.

Before any tournament or big matches, FAs and players must agree on appearance fees and winning bonuses.

If the players do not agree with the amounts offered by the FA, they should just rather pull out of the squad so that there are no arguments later on.

To avoid further disagreements, all African FAs should have in place a standard contract that all national team players should sign when they are part of the team.

In this contract, there should be clearly marked sections which address the issues of appearance fees and bonuses for international matches and important tournaments like the World Cup.

The FAs should also honour these contracts and pay the players what is due to them on the agreed dates.

This will prevent all this confusion and arguments that have left a stain on African football.

Comments (1)

vakaura vabuda and they have since produced drama and nothing more. handiti vanorarisa vamwe kuma night club during the qualifiers. They are highly ranked and yet they qualify by unfair means even against the weakest of teams in Africa. They have never qualified by fair means so to say the least, they dont deserve to be in Brazil. As for the FAs, shame just look at ZIFA, a failed institution from inception.

jore - 1 July 2014

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